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Implications of the school-household network structure on SARS-CoV-2 transmission under school reopening strategies in England.

Abstract

In early 2020 many countries closed schools to mitigate the spread of SARS-CoV-2. Since then, governments have sought to relax the closures, engendering a need to understand associated risks. Using address records, we construct a network of schools in England connected through pupils who share households. We evaluate the risk of transmission between schools under different reopening scenarios. We show that whilst reopening select year-groups causes low risk of large-scale transmission, reopening secondary schools could result in outbreaks affecting up to 2.5 million households if unmitigated, highlighting the importance of careful monitoring and within-school infection control to avoid further school closures or other restrictions.

MIDAS Network Members

John Edmunds

Professor of Infectious Disease Modelling
London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

Katherine Atkins

Associate Professor / Chancellor’s Fellow
London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

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